There has been a short gap between the last post (Day Twenty-six) and this, the final instalment in this month’s exercise, and that time has been filled with some introspection and some “off-air” discussion.
What to conclude?
1. I have not had any revelations about any of the events I have drawn on. Nevertheless, doing this writing has helped me see some patterns. These patterns, which belong to that “thing” I call my identity, make up a map of my self. I can also say that while my understanding of my map has not undergone transformation, my understanding of how this mapping works is slightly modified. I see that my recollection (or anticipation) of my “life-story” takes on meaning only in its relationship with other things, other people, in short, with “the world out there”.
2. I found the task of writing as opposed to speaking did help me organise my thoughts, and perhaps led to a more eloquent expression of the various moments, feelings and episodes that made up the Life History. What’s more, writing is thinking, but a way of thinking that I found was quite firm and definite. However, I was also aware the whole time that because the written word carries on and remains longer than our speech or just our thoughts, I was editing carefully. I was also aware of the possibility (and with over 1,000 hits on the blog this month, there is also some evidence) of an audience. This is important because it (the tension) illustrated for me something key about reflection.
3. Writing every day became, eventually, compelling.
4. Kolb’s learning cycle falls very far short of providing anything helpful in Personal Development. But, too, there is something missing in the otherwise much more helpful Atkins & Murphy model of reflection that I wanted to explore as part of this month’s experiment. What is lacking has something to do with the need to step “in” and “out” at each stage in the model.
5. Not sure whether reflection follows models of reflection, or models of reflection follow reflection.
6. Introspection is necessary, but not sufficient for reflection. Reflection also requires dialogue with the world, where the boundaries are. But for that you have to be brave and reach out to find those boundaries.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.